a) Outline of the Chapter
In Chapter 2, Aristotle offers a confirmation, in a certain sense, of what he put forward as a definition in Chapter 1. Division of the chapter:
201 b 16–18: Topic: the consideration of what earlier philosophers decided about movement, and how they defined it—in the sense of a critique, in order to show that movement cannot be defined in the way the ancients did, and that, on the other hand, the phenomenon of movement becomes accessible in no other way than Aristotle’s.
201 b 18–24: closer discussion of the ancient theories: in which γένος did the ancients put movement, in which “descent” according to its being? The way of being from out of which the ancients wished to determine movement is the ἑτερότης, “being otherwise,” ἀνισότης, “being dissimilar,” μὴ ὄν, “nonbeing”—definite increasing formalization.
201 b 24–27 asks why the ancients developed this determination of movement. Movement itself shows itself as something that is “not determinable, delimitable,” ἀόριστον. It is asked: why? What did they see in movement, that they came to explicate movement in this way?
201 b 27- 202 a 3: It is questioned back further why it genuinely is that movement shows itself as an ἀόριστον.
202 a 3–12: Aristotle treats the fact that what is moved is also for the most part in movement. The conclusion is unclear, cf. Books 5–6.100
b) Critique of the Earlier Determination of Movement through
ἑτερότης, ἀνισότης, and μὴ ὄν
We want to look more precisely at the consideration of Chapter 2. What was explicated by the earlier categorial determinations, ἑτερότης, ἀνισότης, μὴ ὄν,101 determines a being that, according to these determinations, is genuinely not necessarily in movement. Beings determined by being otherwise can indeed be what is moved, but the predicates ἕτερον, ἄνισον, μὴ ὄν, as such do not determine beings with respect to their being in movement.102 In the definition, being-characters are brought into relief, so that they determine the beings that they intend as what must necessarily be found in movement with these characters. Ἑτερότης and ἀνισότης do not satisfy this determination. Many beings that we encounter in the world are given to us as other, but for this reason not yet in movement. I myself am a ἕτερον, an “other” like a dog—through this being-ἕτερον, I am not necessarily in movement. Furthermore, the number 10 is dissimilar to the number 5. However, this dissimilarity does not mean that they are in movement, or that there is a movement between them.
100. See Hs. p. 382 f.
101. Phys. Γ 2, 201 b 20 sq.: ἐτερότητα καὶ ἀνισότητα καὶ τὸ μὴ ὂν φάσκοντες εἶναι τὴν κίνησιν.
102. Phys. Γ 2, 201 b 21 sq.